by Walter Dean Myers

Steve Harmon is black; he is in jail, maybe forever. He is on trial for murder of a drug store owner and could face the death penalty; he is sixteen years old. An amateur filmmaker, he copes with the trial and being in jail by writing a movie script based on the trial.

Steve says ,“Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. It is a strange movie with no plot and no beginning. The movie is in black and white, and

grainy. Sometimes the camera moves in so close that you can’t tell what is going

on and you just listen to the sounds and guess. I have seen movies of prisons but

never one like this. This is not a movie about bars and locked doors. It is about being alone when you are not really alone and about being scared all the time.” p. 3-4

We see life in prison through Steve’s eyes. “The best time to cry is at night, when the lights are out and someone is being beaten up and screaming for help. That way even if you sniffle a little they won’t hear you. If anybody knows that you are crying, they’ll start talking about it and soon it’ll be your turn to get beat up when the lights go out.” P. 1

Myers takes the reader through the trial in script format with Steve’s journal entries mixed in as Steve tries to make sense of what happened. - Mary Boyd (Retired librarian - IISD)

Available as an e-book.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers Book Trailer


National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. 2012. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. <>.